“Going Radical” Article in Mission Frontiers

Last Christmas, my mother- and father-in-law gave me a subscription to Mission Frontiers. This bimonthly periodical is overflowing with a heart for the world. I highly recommend subscribing to them, especially if you are skeptical about missions. They are very serious about doing real, lasting good throughout the world, rather than sending ill-informed short-term mission-vacations across the globe.

Their November-December issue highlights the author of a book I’ve been hearing about: Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. Dr. David Platt is a megachurch pastor down in Birmingham. Rather than striving to grow his attendance figures by any means necessary, he’s challenging his congregation to consider the radical demands of the gospel.

What’s really exciting is that, according to the Mission Frontiers article, Platt talks about the radical demands of the gospel with clear awareness and avoidance of legalism or guilt. He is explicit that we obey Christ not to be righteous, not to be better than the unsaved, not to avoid hellfire, not because we feel guilty, but because, thanks to the gospel, “Now we are free, absolutely free from ourselves and our possessions and our stuff and our living for comfort and security in this world, because now we’re free to live for Christ” (“Going Radical,” Mission Frontiers, Nov-Dec, p. 8).

I’m really excited about this article. Platt goes on to describe how this type of joy-motivated obedience comes about. Among other things, he lists:

  • Deep devotion to the Word of God, including extensive study and memorization.
  • Platt’s own adaptation of a prayer from David Brainerd’s journal: “God, let me make a difference for you that is utterly disproportionate to who I am.”

All right, I’m almost done. One more thing that really excites me about this article is that thoughtless giving is labeled as folly. “Platt observes that, as we give beyond our scraps, our responsibility to give wisely increases” (p. 9). The small group leaders in Platt’s church are currently reading Fikkert and Corbett’s When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor… and Ourselves.

I can’t commend this article enough. It will encourage you and excite you and quicken your heart to the implications of the gospel.